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An icy rail in the Shirlington area (Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley)

(Updated at 7:35 a.m.) Arlington will be under both a Wind Advisory and, later, a Wind Chill Advisory on Friday.

The wind is expected to whip up starting Friday morning, then temperatures will plummet throughout the day. The combination will lead to dangerous conditions for anyone outside.

To make matters worse, the strong winds — gusts of up to 50 mph are expected — may knock out power and leave some locals in the cold.

From the National Weather Service:

737 PM EST Thu Dec 22 2022

…WIND ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 8 AM TO 2 PM EST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…West winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph expected.

* WHERE…Portions of central, north central, northeast, northern and southern Maryland, The District of Columbia and central and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 8 AM to 2 PM EST Friday.

* IMPACTS…Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Bitterly cold wind chills will be ongoing during the time of this high wind event. It is essential to make preparations now for extreme cold conditions with the potential for loss of power.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects.

Also from NWS:

725 PM EST Thu Dec 22 2022

…WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 7 PM FRIDAY TO 10 AM EST SATURDAY…

* WHAT…Very cold wind chills expected. Wind chills as low as 10 below zero.

* WHERE…Portions of central, northeast, northern and southern Maryland, The District of Columbia and central and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 7 PM Friday to 10 AM EST Saturday.

* IMPACTS…The cold wind chills could result in hypothermia if precautions are not taken.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The highest wind speeds will be Friday into Friday evening. Affects from the extreme cold could be made worse due to power outages.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Use caution while traveling outside. Wear appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves.

Meanwhile, icy roads are possible due to a rapid freeze of wet surfaces following the passing of an arctic front, forecasters say.

Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley

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VDOT snow plow spreading salt on N. Glebe Read in 2021 (staff photo)

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) A major storm affecting most of the eastern U.S. and midwest is set to ramp up tomorrow, making for hazardous holiday travel.

Ahead of the storm, the Virginia Dept. of Transportation sent a clear message this afternoon: start your trip now, if you can.

The storm will mostly bring the D.C. area copious amounts of rain starting Thursday morning, along with gusty winds and bitter cold temperatures on Friday. Frozen precipitation beyond some possible snow flurries is not expected in Arlington, but points west and north will likely see snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Along I-81 and the Blue Ridge, the storm is expected to be a high-impact event, and travel on Thursday is “not advised,” VDOT says.

More from a VDOT press release, below.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is advising motorists traveling in and through Virginia to adjust their holiday travel ahead of winter weather expected in parts of the Commonwealth beginning Wednesday night and continuing through Friday.

Travelers are advised to shift holiday travel to Wednesday if possible. Travel on Thursday is not advised, especially through the western regions of Virginia along the Interstate 81 corridor, to avoid potentially hazardous conditions created by forecasted winter weather.

According to current forecasts, wintry precipitation is expected to arrive as soon as 11 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 21 in the southwestern regions of the state, and move northward through the western third of the state, and into portions of northern Virginia through Thursday. Periods of heavy snow are expected along the northern sections of I-81 and the mountain passes including Interstate 64 over Afton Mountain and Rt. 33 between Standardsville and Harrisonburg early Thursday. Temperatures are expected to drop rapidly through the day on Friday leading to the potential for refreeze in areas where the pavement remains wet.

VDOT crews are pretreating roadways and interstates today in anticipation of the weather event.

With extreme low temperatures expected to move in Friday, motorists, if traveling, should pack an emergency kit and blankets, and have mobile devices fully charged in the event of a breakdown or emergency.

“Please continue to monitor forecasts closely as forecasts can improve or worsen quickly,” VDOT said in a separate advisory. “Drivers should expect roads to be impacted Thursday and Friday… Treat anything that looks wet as if it could be icy, especially bridges, ramps, overpasses, and elevated surfaces. If there is snow or ice on roadways, travel is hazardous.”

The transportation agency is currently pretreating roads and “will begin deploying trucks early Thursday morning to treat roads as needed.”

“Adjust travel plans and avoid all nonessential travel during the height of the storm,” VDOT said “This helps to avoid deteriorating conditions and to allow crews room to work.”

A Flood Watch, meanwhile, has been issued for the D.C. area ahead of the rain.

322 PM EST Wed Dec 21 2022

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT…

* WHAT…Flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible.

* WHERE…DC and portions of Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Cecil, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Prince Georges, Southeast Harford and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Fairfax and Prince William/Manassas/Manassas Park.

* WHEN…From Thursday morning through late Thursday night.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations. Flooding may occur in poor drainage and urban areas.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– Moderate rainfall is expected Thursday into Thursday evening, with rainfall totals of one to two inches. This may lead to isolated instances of flooding, especially in urban and poor drainage areas.
– http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

VDOT released the following timeline of expected conditions in Northern Virginia and western zones through Christmas.

Read More

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Freezing rain clings to trees in Westover in 2021 (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

Freezing rain will likely fall early Thursday, prompting a Winter Weather Advisory from the National Weather Service.

Arlington could see dangerous, icy conditions on local roads tomorrow morning, forecasters say. Eventually, the frozen precipitation will switch over to just plain rain as temperatures rise during the day.

Gusty winds are also expected on Thursday.

From from NWS:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM THIS EVENING TO 1 PM EST THURSDAY…

* WHAT…Freezing rain expected. Total ice accumulations of a glaze to around one tenth of an inch.

* WHERE…Portions of central, northeast and northern Maryland, The District of Columbia and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 10 PM this evening to 1 PM EST Thursday.

* IMPACTS…Difficult travel conditions are possible. The hazardous conditions will likely impact the morning commute on Thursday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Wintry precipitation begins this evening, then becomes more intense tonight into Thursday morning. Warmer air should push in Thursday afternoon changing the precipitation to rain.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

The Capital Weather Gang says Arlington is on the approximate line between some ice accumulation and mostly wet roads, with northern portions of the county likely seeing more ice.

VDOT, meanwhile, says it’s preparing to do battle with Mother Nature and try to keep roads passable.

From a VDOT press release:

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is mobilizing its equipment and resources in preparation for a winter weather event to impact parts of the Commonwealth Wednesday night into Thursday.

Incoming rain throughout Virginia is forecasted to shift to sleet and freezing rain in the northern, northwestern, and central areas of the Commonwealth beginning around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14 and going through the morning of Thursday, Dec. 15. This weather event is expected to impact VDOT’s Staunton, Salem, Culpeper, Northern Virginia and Lynchburg districts.

VDOT is paying close attention to the forecast and preparing for what could be a significant icing event. District crews will not apply liquid pretreatment to roads in areas where the event is forecasted to start as rain, which will wash away the pretreatment application. Crews are preparing equipment and will be ready to treat roadways with salt, sand and abrasives as precipitation transitions to sleet or freezing rain.

Motorists should pay attention to weather forecasts in areas where they plan to drive and delay travel on Thursday morning in the impacted areas, especially along the I-81 corridor, Culpeper and Northern Virginia regions.

Safety and Travel Resources

When winter weather arrives, residents and motorists should plan travel ahead of time, check road conditions, prepare an emergency car kit, follow forecasts and announcements and limit travel based on conditions. […]

Statewide Improvements for the 2022-2023 SeasonIn addition to its traditional year-round snow preparation, VDOT made improvements to address items from the Snow Removal and I-95 Incident Performance Audits by the State Inspector General and the Winter Weather Event and I-95 Interagency After-Action Report by CNA:

Improved contracting to be more flexible, competitive and attractive to contractors to address equipment and personnel shortages.

Improved communications and command structure for better internal and interagency cooperation during crisis events.

Assigned staff to drive routes and report on conditions to supplement traffic cameras.

Acquired a system to allow two-way communications between drivers and VDOT within a defined geographic area.

Continued participation in winter weather exercises, led by The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, to foster interagency cooperation.

Resources and Readiness

In addition to operational improvements, VDOT maintains a number of resources to contend with inclement weather.

  • $220 million statewide budgeted for winter weather in 2022-2023
  • 11,493 pieces of equipment (VDOT-owned and contracted equipment combined, as of Nov. 30)
  • Approximately 1,148 vehicle contracts in process, and is continuing to receive additional contract bids (as of Nov. 30)
  • More than 696,000 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives, and more than 2.3 million gallons of liquid calcium chloride and salt brine.
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Fog along N. Glebe Road on Dec. 7, 2022 (staff photo)

Arlington is now included in a Dense Fog Advisory that was earlier issued for other parts of Virginia and Maryland.

The fog is expected to clear up overnight, but for now visibility outside is low and potentially treacherous for drivers.

From the National Weather Service:

URGENT – WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1133 PM EST WED DEC 7 2022

…DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 1 AM EST THURSDAY…

* WHAT…VISIBILITY ONE QUARTER MILE OR LESS IN DENSE FOG.

* WHERE…IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. IN MARYLAND, CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY. IN VIRGINIA, PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK AND FAIRFAX COUNTIES, AND ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA.

* WHEN…UNTIL 1 AM EST THURSDAY.

* IMPACTS…HAZARDOUS DRIVING CONDITIONS DUE TO LOW VISIBILITY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

IF DRIVING, SLOW DOWN, USE YOUR HEADLIGHTS, AND LEAVE PLENTY OF DISTANCE AHEAD OF YOU.

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Heavy rain along the Potomac River, with Rosslyn in the background (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The remnants of Hurricane Nicole are heading our way, meaning a soggy and stormy Veterans Day is on tap.

The rain will start falling early Friday morning. Downpours and gusty winds are expected to follow as the day goes on, before the skies clear Saturday.

Officials are encouraging local residents to get ready now, clearing leaves from storm drains and gutters.

The storm will make for some large, soggy leaf piles on the side of the road. Arlington County does not start its vacuum leaf collection process until next week.

So far, no watches or warnings have been issued for the county. Nicole is packing a threat of localized flooding and isolated tornadoes, but Arlington is outside of the zones where those threats are most likely.

More via Twitter:

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Frost on plants (file photo)

(Update at 2 p.m.) Another Frost Advisory is in effect for early Thursday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Arlington, as well as D.C. and surrounding areas in Northern Virginia, were also under a Frost Advisory Wednesday morning.

Cold temperatures overnight could kill sensitive outdoor plans if precautions are not taken, forecasters say.

More from the NWS:

…FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 1 AM TO 9 AM EDT THURSDAY…

* WHAT…Temperatures as low as 34 will result in frost formation.

* WHERE…In District of Columbia, District of Columbia. In Maryland, Southern Baltimore, Prince Georges, Anne Arundel, St. Marys and Calvert Counties. In Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria.

* WHEN…From 1 AM to 9 AM EDT Thursday.

* IMPACTS…Frost could kill sensitive outdoor vegetation if left uncovered.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Take steps now to protect tender plants from the cold.

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Rains from Hurricane Ian approaching the D.C. area (via National Weather Service)

Rain and wind associated with Hurricane Ian are expected to ramp up tonight in the D.C. area, but the biggest local impacts might be on your weekend plans.

Already a number of Arlington events have been modified or rescheduled, including:

No land-based watches or warnings have been issued for Arlington ahead of the storm, so far, but a Gale Warning has been issued for watercraft on the Potomac. Wind gusts of up to 40 mph are expected between 8 p.m. tonight and 6 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Rain from the storm system could last all weekend and drag into Tuesday, but after an extended stretch of dry weather little to no flooding is expected locally.

Still, authorities are asking Arlington residents to be prepared just in case.

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Lightning strikes in the distance on a stormy night in Ballston, looking south along Glebe Road in August 2022 (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington, Alexandria, D.C. and other parts of the Washington region could see strong storms and pockets of flooding.

A Flood Watch has been issued for much of the area and is set to take effect at 5 p.m.

Forecasters say istorms will likely arrive later this afternoon and may pack heavy rainfall and, in more isolated instances, damaging wind gusts. A “brief tornado” is also possible.

More from the National Weather Service:

1049 AM EDT MON SEP 12 2022

…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 5 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…FLASH FLOODING CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE RAINFALL CONTINUES TO BE POSSIBLE. […]

* WHEN…FROM 5 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING.

* IMPACTS…EXCESSIVE RUNOFF MAY RESULT IN FLOODING OF RIVERS, CREEKS, STREAMS, AND OTHER LOW-LYING AND FLOOD-PRONE LOCATIONS.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON INTO THE EVENING AS A COLD FRONT PUSHES THROUGH THE AREA. HEAVY RAINFALL RATES COULD PRODUCE LOCALIZED RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 3 INCHES IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
– HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/SAFETY/FLOOD

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

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Flood Watch graphic (Photo via National Weather Service/Twitter)

Arlington County, D.C. and its immediate neighbors are under a Flood Watch starting early Monday morning.

Heavy rain is expected overnight and during the morning commute. The soaking rainfall may cause isolated flooding.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM EDT TUESDAY THROUGH TUESDAY AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Flash flooding caused by excessive rainfall is possible.

* WHERE…Portions of DC, Maryland and northern Virginia, including the following areas: in DC, District of Columbia. In Maryland, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Cecil, Central and Southeast Howard, Central and Southeast Montgomery, Frederick MD, Northern Baltimore, Northwest Harford, Northwest Howard, Northwest Montgomery, Prince Georges, Southeast Harford and Southern Baltimore. In northern Virginia, Arlington/Falls Church/Alexandria, Eastern Loudoun, Fairfax and Western Loudoun.

* WHEN…From 4 AM EDT Tuesday through Tuesday afternoon.

* IMPACTS…Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– An area of low pressure is expected to develop along a slow moving boundary draped across the region Tuesday morning through early Tuesday afternoon. Heavy showers and a few thunderstorms are expected to drop 2 to 3 inches across much of the watch area, with isolated higher amounts up to 5 inches possible in the heaviest cells.
– http://www.weather.gov/safety/flood

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

You should monitor later forecasts and be prepared to take action should Flash Flood Warnings be issued.

More via social media:

Photo via National Weather Service/Twitter

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The storm as of 5 p.m.

Update at 5:20 p.m. — Dominion is currently reporting 775 customers without power in Arlington, mostly in the Boulevard Manor, Arlington Forest, Douglas Park and Ashton Heights neighborhoods. It appears that Alexandria bore the brunt of the storm, with nearly 7,000 outages in the city, according to the power company. 

The National Weather Service reported a 41 mph wind gust at Reagan National Airport during the height of the storm, around 4:30 p.m.

Update at 5 p.m. — A new Flash Flood Warning has been issued for most of Arlington until 8 p.m.

From NWS:

BULLETIN – EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
457 PM EDT WED AUG 10 2022

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING […]

* UNTIL 800 PM EDT.

* AT 457 PM EDT, DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED THUNDERSTORMS PRODUCING HEAVY RAIN ACROSS THE WARNED AREA. BETWEEN 1.5 AND 2.5 INCHES OF RAIN HAVE FALLEN. ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 0.5 TO 1.5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN THE WARNED AREA. FLASH FLOODING IS ONGOING OR EXPECTED TO BEGIN SHORTLY.

HAZARD…FLASH FLOODING CAUSED BY THUNDERSTORMS.

SOURCE…RADAR.

IMPACT…FLASH FLOODING OF SMALL CREEKS AND STREAMS, URBAN AREAS, HIGHWAYS, STREETS AND UNDERPASSES AS WELL AS OTHER POOR DRAINAGE AND LOW-LYING AREAS.

* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL EXPERIENCE FLASH FLOODING INCLUDE… ARLINGTON… ALEXANDRIA… BETHESDA… COLLEGE PARK… LANGLEY PARK… FALLS CHURCH… CORAL HILLS… BLADENSBURG… HOWARD UNIVERSITY… FORT TOTTEN… GALLAUDET UNIVERSITY… ROSSLYN… NATIONALS PARK… CRYSTAL CITY… RFK STADIUM… REAGAN NATIONAL AIRPORT… UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND… LANDOVER… HYATTSVILLE… TAKOMA PARK…

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN VEHICLES.

BASEMENT FLOODING CAN OCCUR QUICKLY AND CREATE A LIFE-THREATENING SITUATION. IF YOU ARE IN A BASEMENT, OR A RESIDENCE BELOW STREET LEVEL, MOVE TO A HIGHER FLOOR IMMEDIATELY.

Earlier: Much of Arlington is currently under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning.

Two separate storm warnings have been issued for northern and southern portions of the county, plus a Flash Flood Warning for Alexandria and southern portions of Arlington.

One passenger on a departing flight that’s holding on the tarmac at Reagan National Airport said the storm there is causing the plane to shake. The airport is currently under a ground stop and experiencing 30-45 minute flight delays, according to the FAA.

More from the National Weather Service:

BULLETIN – IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
National Weather Service Baltimore MD/Washington DC
428 PM EDT Wed Aug 10 2022

The National Weather Service in Sterling Virginia has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for… The northwestern District of Columbia… Southeastern Montgomery County in central Maryland… Northwestern Arlington County in northern Virginia… Northeastern Fairfax County in northern Virginia…

* Until 515 PM EDT.

* At 428 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located over North Bethesda, or over Rockville, and is nearly stationary.

HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

* Locations impacted include… Arlington, Rockville, Bethesda, Olney, Pimmit Hills, Mclean, Howard University, American Legion Bridge, Fort Totten, Aspen Hill, Potomac, North Bethesda, North Potomac, Fairland, Tysons Corner, White Oak, Redland, Takoma Park, Great Falls and Colesville.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.

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Heavy rain along Four Mile Run Drive near Shirlington (file photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington — along with D.C., Alexandria, Fairfax County and most of the rest of Northern Virginia — is under a Flood Watch today.

The watch takes effect at 2 p.m. and will remain in effect into the evening hours as slow-moving storms roll into the area.

The combination of slow storm movement and the potential for training — a series of downpours focused on a specific west-to-east area — raises the possibility of flooding, forecasters say.

More from the National Weather Service:

…FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH THIS EVENING…

* WHAT…FLASH FLOODING CAUSED BY EXCESSIVE RAINFALL CONTINUES TO BE POSSIBLE. […]

* IMPACTS…EXCESSIVE RUNOFF MAY RESULT IN FLOODING OF RIVERS, CREEKS, STREAMS, AND OTHER LOW-LYING AND FLOOD-PRONE LOCATIONS.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…
– SHOWERS AND NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED THIS AFTERNOON INTO THIS EVENING. RAINFALL AMOUNTS WILL AVERAGE AROUND 1 TO 1.5 INCHES ACROSS THE AREA, BUT LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE LIKELY AND MUCH OF THAT MAY FALL IN A ONE TO TWO HOUR TIMEFRAME. HEAVY RAIN IN SHORT PERIODS OF TIME MAY CAUSE CREEKS AND STREAMS TO RAPIDLY RISE OUT OF THEIR BANKS ALONG WITH POTENTIAL FLASH FLOODING IN URBAN AREAS.
– HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/SAFETY/FLOOD

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.

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